FOS and intestinal well-being

Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) belong to a group of compounds that are collectively known as prebiotics. Prebiotics are not digested by the human body, but it is considered that improves health because it stimulates the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.

The average diet contributes only 2 to 3 grams of FOS per day by eating vegetables like onions, but it is estimated that the optimal intake should be from 5 to 10 grams. Research has shown that consumption of FOS for 2 weeks only significantly increases the number of bacteria in the gut, increasing their number in some cases up to 10 times.

Professionals currently mainly used as prebiotics FOS or in cases of digestive problems like constipation. New recent research highlights other issues that could have interesting applications.

Indications of FOS
Improvement of the digestive
Supplementation with FOS has been shown to modify bowel function in healthy people. However, the main benefits are presented in sections of the population that may have an abnormal intestinal ecology as infants, the elderly, people with intestinal disorders or who have received antibiotic therapy. We found lower levels of beneficial bacteria in people with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Studies of babies, both premature and not show that the inclusion of FOS in milk formula causes a decrease in the number of pathogenic bacteria present in feces, such as E. coli and clostridia. An additional study in children aged 7 to 19 months showed that FOS increased bifidobacteria levels, decreasing the levels of potential pathogens and reduced symptoms of flatulence, diarrhea, vomiting and fever.

Because FOS is a type of fiber have been used extensively to improve constipation and intestinal transit time. Evidence suggests that a dose of 10 to 20 g. daily significantly increased the frequency and the softness of the stool in adults.

The action of the FOS in the constipation is given by the sum of two effects: the osmotic effect and the prebiotic effect. On one hand the osmotic effect is due to pick up fluid in the intestine, increasing the size of the stool and moisture, making it stimulates intestinal peristalsis and stool to excrete more smoothly. On the other hand, we have a prebiotic effect in which, owing to increased beneficial intestinal bacteria stimulates the production of short chain fatty acids that decrease slightly the intestinal pH, thereby stimulating intestinal peristalsis. With all that, its laxative action is not aggressive or irritating, you can take unlimited time, not being addictive and being able to take both children and pregnant women without any kind of problem.

Absorption of minerals: bones and more
Several studies have associated with FOS supplementation with increased bone mineralization. A human study discovered that people with both high and low absorption of calcium supplementation with FOS improves absorption of calcium, bone mineral content and density. It is thought that this effect is caused by several different mechanisms: increased production of short chain fatty acids resulting in a higher solubility of minerals, the improvement of intestinal health; increasing absorption surface, increased the expression of calcium-binding proteins, the degradation of phytic acid, among other factors.

These benefits are not limited to calcium, since there is evidence to suggest that could also improve the absorption of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper.

Dose and sources of FOS

Studies have shown beneficial effects of FOS to low doses of 5 grams per day in adults (prebiotic) and high doses of 20 grams a day (for constipation). Doses up to 20 grams of FOS per day is considered safe and well tolerated.

FOS recommend using naturally extracted from the root of chicory, as it is the only natural form of FOS that has been scientifically proven to help gut health. The versions produced by synthetic processes, usually from sugar beet, do not offer the same health benefits.

Source: Lamberts

Related topics:

Constipation. Causes and effects
Constipation. Constipation
The care of the colon (large intestine). Its importance to health
Probiotics: Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidum Bifodobacterium

*Automatic Translation